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From the Angry College Professors department comes an email forwarded to us from the land of the USC Trojans. Fullback Mike Brittingham, a former walk-on with only one catch this year (though, assuredly, a lot of blocks), apparently missed a conference with one of his professors in October because he was sick. Brittingham made a mistake, however, in saying he was sick the same week that he garnered that one catch. His professor, Lee Cerling, was less than impressed.

Too bad about all of the flags and the slow start again today. Speaking of flags, you might be interested to know that that's what you're getting in this course—a flag, F.
...
As with football, so in life—too many flags might mean that you don't really have your head in the game. Might I take this opportunity to encourage you to start attending class, coming on time when you do attend, taking my assignments rather more seriously than you have done to date, and to quit laughing and talking (or sleeping!) in the back row while you are in my classrooom?

The full email hilarity after the jump. No word on whether or not Brittingham dropped the class or not; he's still on the team, though.

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From: michael brittingham
Sent: Thu 10/6/2005 10:09 AM
To: Cerling, Lee
Subject:

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Professor Cerling,
I am sick and can not make it to the meeting today. I am extremley sorry and would like to resceudule. If this is possible please email me or call me.
Mike Brittingham

From: "Cerling, Lee"
To: michael brittingham
Date: Sun, 09 Oct 2005 00:41:02 -0700
Subject: RE:

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Michael—

The words you are struggling for in your e-mail below are spelled, respectively, "extremely" and "re-schedule".

So sorry to hear of your illness. I had 40 fifteen-minute conferences and about 30 half-hour conferences this past week, for each of which it took me as much as an hour to prepare. So, after having cancelled two mandatory 80-minute class sessions to accommodate all of these appointments, when I get notice of a student's inability to make a 15-minute conference 10—wait, make that 9—minutes after his scheduled appointment, due to illness, you can probably make a good estimate as to how much concern and anxiety that creates in me for the student's well-being.

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You can imagine my joy and relief, however, to find that you were able to recover sufficiently to play football today, and even to haul in a catch! Allow me to congratulate you on your achievement. Whether I should also congratulate you on your rapid and even miraculous powers of recovery, or on your ability to "play hurt" or "play through pain" (or whatever the latest expression is!), be sure to let me know. I'm glad Pete and the rest of the coaching staff could be persuaded that you were well enough to take the field.

(By the way, were you aware that I know Pete? We play basketball together quite a bit.)

Fight On!

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Too bad about all of the flags and the slow start again today. Speaking of flags, you might be interested to know that that's what you're getting in this course—a flag, F. You received 40 points out of a possible 100 on this last assignment, which is an F. Totaling this plus the value of the rest of your "work" on the various assignments gives you 75 points out of a possible 170, which is an F; except that now you've got a 50-point penalty for your attendance, which puts you down to only 25 points total for the semester, which is, of course, still an F, though it is a lot lower F than it would have been without the penalty.

As with football, so in life—too many flags might mean that you don't really have your head in the game. Might I take this opportunity to encourage you to start attending class, coming on time when you do attend, taking my assignments rather more seriously than you have done to date, and to quit laughing and talking (or sleeping!) in the back row while you are in my classrooom? Or perhaps you would consider it easier to just drop the class instead?

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I think re-scheduling our conference is unnecessary; this e-mail serves the purpose, I think.

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Sincerely,
Prof. Cerling

Mike Brittingham Bio [CBS Sportsline]
Professor Lee Cerling [USC.edu]